In local legislative contests, outside spending reshapes races

November 27, 2012

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet raised $315,166 in the race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate and garnered 36,630 votes throughout the 5th Legislative District.

The total raised amounts to about $8.60 per vote for the ubiquitous campaign mailers, yard signs and TV spots, and online advertising in Mullet’s successful race against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft.

Toft collected $306,599 and received 30,683 votes districtwide — or about $9.99 per vote.

Read more

How much did Issaquah legislative candidates raise?

November 27, 2012

The candidates to represent Issaquah in Olympia raised a combined $1.5 million to fund legislative campaigns.

Read more

City Council hires lobbyist to represent Issaquah in Olympia

August 7, 2012

Issaquah needs a lobbyist to advocate in the marble corridors beneath the Capitol dome — and coax state legislators to support local projects, City Council members said in a contentious decision to hire a longtime Olympia lobbyist.

The council agreed in a 5-2 decision July 16 to hire Doug Levy to represent Issaquah in Olympia. Members spent $21,700 to hire the former congressional staffer and onetime journalist through December.

Read more

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug departs suddenly to accept board post

May 29, 2012

Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, Councilman Mark Mullet seek seat

Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Republican state Sen. Cheryl Pflug, a representative for Issaquah and surrounding communities, to a state growth board May 18, the same day Pflug withdrew from the race for another legislative term.
The surprise announcement stunned the political establishment in Olympia and reverberated in the Senate race Pflug departed.

Cheryl Pflug

The last-minute withdrawal left Issaquah Councilman Mark Mullet, a Democrat, and Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, a Republican, in the running to represent Issaquah and the reshaped 5th Legislative District in Olympia.

Gregoire appointed Pflug to a six-year term on the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, the panel responsible for mediating disputes about planning and development issues in municipalities throughout the state. Members earn $92,500 per year.

Members cannot serve simultaneously on the board and in the Legislature. Pflug intends to resign from the Senate on July 1, the same day the state board appointment starts and about six months before the Senate term expires.

Under state law, the King County Council is responsible for appointing a successor to the Senate seat after Pflug resigns. The law calls for GOP officials to submit three candidates to the council for the open seat. Then, the council must make a selection within 60 days of Pflug’s resignation.

Read more

Fred Butler announces re-election campaign

April 5, 2011

Longtime Councilman Fred Butler, a respected authority on regional transit issues, announced plans March 29 to run for a fourth term.

Fred Butler

The incumbent candidate, a Squak Mountain resident and a retired U.S. Army colonel, joined the City Council more than a decade ago, and served on the board as Issaquah experienced a population boom.

“I want to continue to serve the citizens of Issaquah and the region with my enthusiasm, energy and experience to make Issaquah a better place,” he said in a statement. “I am committed to working collaboratively to solve problems. I pledge to work hard, listen and help when I can.”

Butler, a Sound Transit board member, served last year on a regional effort to guide King County Metro Transit service in the decades ahead. In addition, County Executive-elect Dow Constantine tapped Butler to serve on the transition team as Constantine shifted from the County Council to the top county office in 2009.

On the Issaquah council, Butler serves as deputy council president, the No. 2 position on the board.

Read more

Councilman Fred Butler announces re-election campaign

March 29, 2011

NEW — 5:15 p.m. March 29, 2011

Fred Butler

Longtime Councilman Fred Butler, a respected authority on regional transit issues, announced plans Tuesday to run for a fourth term.

The incumbent candidate, a Squak Mountain resident and a retired U.S. Army colonel, joined the City Council more than a decade ago, and served on the board as Issaquah experienced a population boom.

“I want to continue to serve the citizens of Issaquah and the region with my enthusiasm, energy and experience to make Issaquah a better place,” he said in a statement. “I am committed to working collaboratively to solve problems. I pledge to work hard, listen and help when I can.”

Butler, a Sound Transit board member, served last year on a regional effort to guide King County Metro Transit service in the decades ahead. In addition, then-County Executive-elect Dow Constantine tapped Butler to serve on the transition team as Constantine shifted from the County Council to the top county office in 2009.

Read more

Joshua Schaer announces City Council re-election bid

February 22, 2011

Incumbent Joshua Schaer announced plans last week to run for a second term, setting off the campaign season for City Council seats.

The candidate highlighted environmental accomplishments in the announcement, including a first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance and polystyrene container ban.

“Shaping the future of our community is a great honor,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to another four years of creating practical solutions, while continuing to advocate for fiscal responsibility.”

Joshua Schaer

Schaer drafted and shepherded the food-packaging ordinance to fruition throughout 2009. Though the measure initially raised concerns about cost among local restaurateurs, the compliance date in October 2010 passed quietly.

The first-term councilman also leads the Council Transportation Committee and serves as the Issaquah representative to the Eastside Transportation Partnership, a regional group responsible for road and transit issues.

In recent months, as the transportation committee and the seven-member council tackled Newport Way Northwest upgrades, Schaer has been critical of the effort to remake a section of the road near the Bellevue city line and a separate proposal to widen the street near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

In addition to Schaer’s post, the council seats held by Council President John Traeger and Councilman Fred Butler appear on the November ballot.

Candidates must file to run in Issaquah and other races by June 10. Schaer is the only council candidate so far.

Read more

Joshua Schaer announces City Council re-election bid

February 17, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 17, 2011

Joshua Schaer

Incumbent Joshua Schaer announced plans Thursday to run for a second term, setting off the campaign season for City Council seats.

The candidate highlighted environmental accomplishments in the announcement, including a first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance.

“Shaping the future of our community is a great honor,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to another four years of creating practical solutions, while continuing to advocate for fiscal responsibility.”

Schaer drafted and shepherded the food-packaging ordinance to fruition throughout 2009. Though the measure initially raised concerns among local restaurateurs, the compliance date in October 2010 passed quietly.

Schaer also leads the Council Transportation Committee and serves as the Issaquah representative to the Eastside Transportation Partnership, a regional group responsible for road and transit issues.

Read more

Fairness issue defines income tax debate

October 5, 2010

The state-sponsored spread in the Sept. 6 issue of Fortune magazine touted Washington as a land of natural beauty, educated residents and, oh yeah, no state income tax.

No state income tax for now, at least.

Initiative 1098, a measure on the November ballot, calls for instituting a state income tax on the richest 1.2 percent of earners. The measure could be a $2 billion boon for education and health care.

Initiative backers said the measure aims to correct a structural imbalance and lessen the reliance on sales tax — a revenue source subject to the roller-coaster fluctuations of the economy.

“This doesn’t solve everything that’s wrong with a tax system that’s ranked the worst in the nation, but it’s a step toward making it more fair,” Yes on Initiative 1098 spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said.

Opponents said levying a state income tax on high earners could erase a competitive edge and eliminate a draw for prospective business investment — and jobs — in a sour economy. Only a handful of states do not collect income tax.

Read more

Challenger launches campaign to represent Issaquah neighborhoods in state Senate

January 7, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 7, 2010

Bellevue Republican Gregg Bennett launched a campaign Tuesday for the District 48 state Senate seat. The district includes the South Cove neighborhoods in western Issaquah.

Bennett described himself as a moderate Republican who said his No. 1 priority as a state lawmaker would be education. He touted his involvement with community, education and sports groups.

“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves to get administrators, principals, teachers, parents, kids…and even our legislative leaders all working together towards the same goal — to make sure our kids are our first priority and their futures are bright,” Bennett said in a news release.

Besides South Cove in Issaquah, the district includes parts of Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond.

Read more

Next Page »